BERWICK, N.S. – A Berwick man is facing animal cruelty charges after allegedly neglecting his nine dogs before they were seized by the Nova Scotia SPCA.
The SPCA says it received a complaint in September regarding dogs owned by 53-year-old Darryl Darcy. The complaint alleged that one dog was injured, and several others were not receiving the proper care.
After the owner allegedly failed to comply with SPCA requests, the agency seized nine dogs and one bird owned by Darcy, a seizure SPCA chief inspector Jo-Anne Landsburg says was “extreme” due to the number of dogs.
“We worked with this person over a long period of time, and essentially we had to step in and seize the animals,” she says.
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The seizure was determined justified at an Animal Cruelty Appeal board hearing Nov. 19, and the dogs have since remained in SPCA custody.
Landsburg says all nine dogs will be available for fostering after they are spayed or neutered. She says the dogs are in “urgent need” of fostering as they were never taught how to socialize with other dogs, or how to live with a family.
“These dogs had been tethered for the majority of their lives. They are very friendly and outgoing, but need to learn to behave in a family environment,” says Landsburg, adding that the selected foster families will teach the dogs leash, house and obedience training.
Landsburg says fosters will be vetted, and anyone interested should apply immediately so the dogs can be resettled as soon as possible.
Darcy will appear in Kentville court Dec. 18 to face four counts of animal cruelty under the Animal Protection Act of Nova Scotia, including allegedly leaving the dogs without food or water, confining them in a small, unsanitary space and failing to treat an injured dog, as well as one count of failing to comply with the SPCA.
Landsburg says the SPCA typically seeks a lifetime prohibition on animal ownership in such cases, and that courts often impose fines and restitution charges to the SPCA for the money spent on caring for the seized animals.
“The prohibition is the most important thing for us, this means we can prevent situation from happening again,” she says.
Anyone seeking to report animal cruelty can contact the NS SPCA at its confidential, toll-free hotline at 1-888-703-7722.